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Daily Kos- by kos

Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 11:20:03 AM PDT

Public Policy Polling for Daily Kos. 10/16-17. Likely voters. MoE 3.8% (No trend lines)

Ben Quayle (R) 44
Jon Hulburd (D) 46

Yeah, that was a real WTF moment for us in this open seat being vacated by conservative icon John Shadegg. Completely unexpected. Sure, the idiot son of the idiot former vice president is a bit of a joke, but this is a solidly conservative district, one in which McCain won 57-42.

Now there is no intensity gap here. Or better put, there is a gap, but it goes the other way — the composition of this sample is 52-40 McCain, or three points more Democratic than in 2008. That’s likely part of the “favorite son” gap we’ve seen in polling in Illinois, Delaware, Hawaii and Alaska — in which the presidential ticket boosted partisan performance for the home-state candidates.

In any case, Democrats have a legitimate and serious pickup opportunity in this district. The reason is that Quayle is having a bitch of a time locking down moderates and independents.

Hulburd is winning independents 50-36, and moderates 66-27. While only eight percent of Obama voters are defecting to Quayle, 18 percent of McCain voters are going with Hulburd. And even 19 percent of Republican voters are choosing the Democratic candidate, likely an artifact of a nasty primary. In fact, Quayler’s favorable/unfavorable rating of 34/52 is shockingly bad for a first-time House candidate, and incudes 30 percent unfavorables from Republican voters, and 29/51 from independents. Hulburd is at 33/20, including 37/16 from independents. Yet given that half of voters have no idea what to think of Hulburd, he may be benefiting from an “anyone but Quayle” dynamic.

John McCain is winning this district easily in his current bid for re-election, 53-39, further suggesting that the sample isn’t too Democratic. And most undecideds come from 18 to 29 year olds, suggesting Hulburd has the best chance to grown his support past 50 percent.

Those of you who voted to poll this district last week, great call. I wouldn’t have chosen this one, but I’m glad you did.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/10/18/911384/-AZ-03:-Shocking-Democratic-pickup-opportunity

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Obama’s Big Wake Up Call

By William Greider, The Nation. Posted January 20, 2010.

The Dems’ loss in Massachusetts put on display the monumental miscalculations by which Obama has governed. Now it’s time for him to change.

Barack Obama went to Boston to rally voters and got a pie in the face. He lost his innocence as the valiant young president and also lost his sixty-vote majority in the Senate. Now we will find out what the man is made of — either a true political leader or just another show horse. Dozens of explanations are being offered for why the Dems were humiliated in Massachusetts. Democrats incline to grab easy answers. The president, if he is tough enough, will instead face the hard message of this political fiasco.

The special election displayed monumental miscalculations by which Obama has governed, both in priorities and political-legislative strategies. It may seem perverse and unfair, but the president’s various actions for reform generated a vaguely poisonous identity. Amid the general suffering, Obama is widely seen as collaborating with two popular villains — the me-first bankers and over-educated policy technocrats of the permanent governing elite. Obama made nice with the bankers and loaded up his administration with Harvard policy wonks who really don’t know the country. These malignant associations gain traction because people see there are grains of truth in observable reality.

On Sunday, I listened on the radio to Obama’s soaring speech at Northeastern University and remembered again why his oratory first took the nation to the mountaintop. His attack lines lashing bankers and insurance companies were fluid and tough, shouted repetitively over the rising cheers. His diction was loosely colloquial. He dropped the hard g’s to get down with the folks. Too little, too late, I figured. He is still masterful, but this is performance, not substance. People grasp the difference between the two. This gulf will imprison Obama as a stereotype for weakness, a joke on late-night TV, if he doesn’t change.

The humiliation, I decided, could become a good thing for this presidency if it forces Obama to rethink his political strategy and rearrange his governing order. For all his brains and talent, for all the brainy people around him, the Obama White House seems tone-deaf and blind on many aspects of the popular reality. Too full of itself to listen closely. Too condescending to recognize the rage and fear are about more than right-wing frothers.

MORE HERE

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